Hygiene group reports record demand due to pandemic effects

David Traynor

Daresbury-based hygiene group, Byotrol, reported significant progress in its interim results as a result of demand for its products during the coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing figures for the six months to September 30, it revealed revenues trebled from £2.2m last year to £6.7m this year, while a pre-tax loss of £624,000 in 2019 has been transformed to a £959,000 pre-tax profit this period.

The group had net cash and cash equivalents of £1.7m at the period end after substantial investment in stock, and its balance sheet was strengthened by the repayment of all financial debt.

Byotrol also announced the completion of licensing-out of Byotrol24 surface sanitiser to Integrated Resources Inc in the US which is expected to provide significant returns for minimal ongoing US costs.

Solvay has globally launched the Actizone 24-hour surface sanitizer, referring to it as a ‘blockbuster technology’, and a grant of £350,000 has been secured for a seaweed research programme.

The group said market demand for its products remains high and it continues to expect future demand to settle substantially above pre-COVID levels.

The outlook for the industry is highly positive and Byotrol’s positioning within it remains very strong, it said.

Non-executive chairman, John Langlands, said: “This was a very strong first half performance.

“The business has delivered sustainable profits, benefiting from our long-term strategy and, of course, the significant demand for our infection control products arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our employees all delivered under very difficult circumstances as we faced restrictions in movement and shortages in raw materials.”

He added: “Byotrol remains extremely well positioned to benefit from the long term demand for infection control products both during and following the pandemic.”

Chief executive, David Traynor, added: “This was an extraordinary six months and we think the post COVID-19 world will look significantly different compared to pre-COVID.

“Notwithstanding that vaccines seem to be close to readiness, we expect sales to settle at levels significantly higher than pre-COVID, and our order book remains consistently higher now than at any other point in our history.

“Our commercial opportunity has certainly increased in magnitude and continues to be supported by the changes we have been talking about for many years – increasing global demand, reduced supply as regulations bite and resultant industry structural change.

“However, we can now add to that a new awareness of the damage viruses can do if uncontained, and an increasing understanding of the risks that individuals and society run if not protecting themselves proactively. The opportunities for growth are now numerous and sizeable.”

He said: “Within Byotrol we have effectively gone through several years of growth in eight months and have had one eye at all times on scaling in a controlled way that supports long-term growth.

“We have done all this whilst the team has been working within the lockdown rules, at their most stringent in the North West UK where our labs and many staff are based.

“Despite these constraints we have made significant changes to our team, management structure, processes and supply chain and have now started investing in marketing, advertising and promotion, PR and product proposition development research.

“We are pleased that the financial returns on our investments are now starting to come through – as shown by these interim results – and we remain very confident for our year end results.

“We are now carefully investing some of the returns in Byotrol’s future and remain very confident in our outlook. These are exciting times for all Byotrol stakeholders and we look forward to further progress in 2021 and beyond.”